High school sophomores spend Job Shadow Day with local professionals
SUMMIT COUNTY – Kids often hear the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and for Summit High School sophomores, the answers include tattoo artist, massage therapist, animal handler and helicopter pilot.
The 200 sophomores spent Thursday following career mentors as part of Groundhog Job Shadow Day. Job Shadow Day helps students figure out their career goals and meet people in the community who work in the fields in which they are interested, and it helps them learn about what subjects to study in school to pursue that career. Some of the workplaces students visited included ski areas, doctors’ and lawyers’ offices, the Colorado State Patrol, radio and TV stations and an excavation company.
“We want our students to have an opportunity to experience the workplace firsthand to help them to determine their career goals,” said Laura Dickinson, career counselor and teacher at the high school and organizer of the Job Shadow Day. “Most students have a pretty good idea of their area of interests. Based on their general idea, they go out on their own and find something.”
Valerie Utaski, a stylist at First Impressions Hair Salon in Frisco, played host to Lisa Walton on Job Shadow Day. It was a slow day at the salon, and the first thing Utaski taught Walton was that when there are no clients, stylists are not getting paid. Utaski said it’s great that students are interested in careers and meeting people in the field that they can go to with questions.
“I explained that everything you study in high school is important, but in this industry, it’s especially important to study chemistry and geometry,” Utaski said. Utaski said chemistry is important because of solutions, dyes and cosmetics. Geometry helps students understand the aesthetics of face and hairstyle shapes.
Dr. Craig Perrinjaquet of High Country Health Care in Breckenridge said he likes to host high school students who are interested in becoming doctors, in addition to residents and medical students. Perrinjaquet said Job Shadow Day helps students make better career choices if they have a better picture of that job. He encourages students to gain experience volunteering in the medical field.
“There are so many different choices in the health field besides an M.D., it’s fun to give them a vision of the possibilities,” he said.
Jessica Lewark shadowed Perrinjaquet and is interested in medicine. She saw the doctor draw blood and insert IV needles in arms, among other procedures.
“There were no surprises really,” Lewark said. “I kind of thought it would be like this – people come in, and they want help. I think I want to work more with kids than adults.”
Job Shadow Day is part of a range of career experiences the high school provides for students. Freshmen also have a Job Shadow Day, during which they follow their parents at work. Juniors and seniors can take internship courses with local businesses.
“Even if a student comes back and says they’ll never do that job, it’s still a success,” Dickinson said.
Laura Lerner is a Summit High School sophomore studying
Reid Williams can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237, or email@example.com.
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